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Islanders games: two venues, zero plastic straws?

2013 MTV Video Music Awards - Outside The Barclays Center

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Atmosphere outside of the Barclays Center prior to the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards on August 25, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for MTV)

Getty Images for MTV

So, here’s an unsolicited slice-of-life: this author’s mother is pretty steamed about plastic straws being replaced.

In these tense political times, the stakes often feel high, yet we - as a country, continent, global community - can still get bent out of shape about straws, which are sometimes most entertaining when they’re bent out of shape.

With that in mind, untold number of mothers (and others) might cringe to learn that Barclays Center and NYCB Live (“home of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum”) both aim to eliminate the use of “single-use straws” by 2019. The press release notes that they’ll become the first New York-area sports venues to take such a step in what’s becoming a growing trend.

Here’s more from the release, which really helps to contextualize how many people are using a device to transport liquids from their beverages to their faces.

The move will divert from landfill the combined 5.5 million straws used annually by the two venues. Levy Restaurants, the venue’s food and beverage provider, will offer guests a strawless lid or alternative-material straw option, which will be compostable, upon request.

As you saw there, patrons will have alternate options. Hopefully the “alternative-material straw option” still gives you the ability to blow bubbles in your drink, because if not, then the faux-outrage might just become full-outrage.

Anyway, if you’re feeling nostalgic and wistful, perhaps you’ll be soothed by some of the more amusing Getty Images results for “straw in drink.” (We aim to please here at PHT.)


According to the Getty caption (photo by Scott Barbour), this is from a celebration by the Geelong Cats of the AFL (Australian Football League). Harry Taylor, dressed as Ned Kelly, was sipping a beer with that straw.



By a stroke of luck, there’s this shot of Billy Smith via Bruce Bennett from 1983.


A 1950 shot of kids in football helmets sipping soda, via Francis Miller of the Life Picture Collection by way of Getty. Think of the straws. Think of the children.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.